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Mater Foundation and Smiling for Smiddy’s Mark ‘Sharky’ Smoothy has been recognised for his outstanding patient advocacy in the 2016 Melanoma Patients Australia National Melanoma Awards, awarded MPA’s Patient Advocate of the Year.
The MPA National Melanoma Awards recognise the great contributions being made to reduce the impact of melanoma on all Australians.
Melanoma Patients Australia Chief Executive Officer, Hayley Anderson, was privileged to be able to acknowledge the outstanding work that Mark had undertaken over so many years.
“Mark has worked tirelessly to raise funds which have directly aided research and support for melanoma. His commitment and spirit are infectious and no doubt are part of the reason that Smiling for Smiddy has been so successful, not only in raising vital funds but in fostering a community,” Ms Andersen said.
“Each year MPA strives to reduce the impact of melanoma, however many other people and organisations undertake amazing initiatives that moves our community towards realising our vision of reducing the impact of melanoma on all Australians. These awards are a fabulous opportunity to recognise them.
“MPA is very proud of its long association with Mark and the Smiling for Smiddy crew and we continue to be impressed by their incredible fundraising efforts.”
Founded by Mark, after the passing of his mate Adam Smiddy from an aggressive melanoma in 2006, Smiling for Smiddy is dedicated to raising much-needed funds for important and ongoing cancer research at Mater.
Mark said he was honoured to be recognised with this national award.
“I accept this award on behalf of every member of the Smiddy team who are just as passionate about raising awareness for melanoma and supporting cancer research as I am,” he said.
“My dear mate Adam inspired me to start Smiling for Smiddy so this award is for him, his family and anyone touched by the insidious disease.”
What began as a humble ride from Brisbane to Townsville in memory of a mate, has since grown year-on-year into a wonderful series of physical challenges, each championed by Mark and the Smiddy team he leads.
Cyclists, triathletes, swimmers, road crew and supporters make up the spirit of Team Smiddy and over the past ten years, have raised more than $7 million for world-class research projects at Mater Research in areas of melanoma, prostate, breast and ovarian cancers.
Ms Andersen, together with MPA Chairman Mr John Seccombe, presented Mark with the award at Mater Foundation’s annual Christmas Breakfast on 9 December.
Melanoma Patients Australia created the National Melanoma Awards to recognise people and organisations that make the greatest contributions towards reducing the impact of melanoma on all Australians.